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February 28th, 2013


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03:45 pm - Her Madness is My Madness
Today's poem is from the Poem-A-Day e-mail from the Academy of American Poets. In "Tis Late," April Bernard spins a conceit out of a "local street character" who sells flowers and recites poems.


Her madness is my madness
and this is my flower in a cone
of waste paper I stole from
someone’s more authentic grief

I saw the poem earlier today, read a few lines and then skipped on. But now I returned to it, at the end of my teaching day, weary and feeling overwhelmed with my responsibilities, not always up to the task. Isn't it funny how sometimes it's the right time for a poem? Even me, a contingent instructor, standing in front of a classroom -- overeducated, underachieving -- I clicked on to the John Donne poem that Bernard quotes in her poem, "At the round earth's imagined corners (Holy Sonnet 7)," and I thought about the small pleasure in life of stumbling upon a poem, a poem from another time, a poem that reminds me of quiet corners of serious buildings with art in them. Holy sonnet, holy youth of imagining infinities, holy small pleasures before holy drive home on wet roads still cutting through weary snow banks. Gray skies, all that. Someone's more authentic grief. More than hers or mine, except our ability to imagine.

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Her Madness is My Madness - flash & yearn

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